Nodecraft Switches Cloud Providers to Save Big with Bandwidth Alliance

Nodecraft’s cofounder calls decision a “Total No-Brainer”

In the old days, if you wanted to play a game online you were subject to the whims of whomever ran the server — whether it was the choice of levels you played, game duration, or even the rules. Today, thanks to Nodecraft, anyone can play on their home turf without needing an IT department to do it.

Nodecraft gives users an easy way to set up their own game servers, with support for hits like Minecraft, ARK: Survival Evolved, and Counter-Strike. From parents who want a family-friendly Minecraft server for their kids, to gaming ‘clans’ practicing their tactics together, Nodecraft makes it easy for its users to create the experience they’re looking for.

One of the best things about Nodecraft is its flexibility: you can play Minecraft on your server one day, switch that server to run ARK the next — then return to the original game, with all of its settings and data intact. It’s a delightful experience for gamers, but behind the scenes it involves considerable storage space, and, crucially, a lot of bandwidth.

Until recently, Nodecraft stored customers’ server instances on Amazon AWS’s S3. It worked, but for over a year the company felt a nagging pain: as Nodecraft’s popularity increased, its server bills were growing at an uncomfortable rate. AWS was charging Nodecraft not just for the storage space it was using, but also for so-called ‘egress’ fees, billed for the act of transferring that stored data to customers.

As Nodecraft co-founder and CTO James Ross puts it, “Storage is generally pretty cheap — it’s the bandwidth where they get you.”

Enter the Bandwidth Alliance.

bandwidthalliance logo

Launched in Fall 2018, the Bandwidth Alliance is an initiative started by Cloudflare in tandem with over a dozen marquee partners to make the Internet fairer and data more portable. In short, partners in the Bandwidth Alliance have agreed to waive egress fees for transfers between other partner networks — either in their entirety or at a steep discount.

In this case, Nodecraft was drawn to Backblaze, a Bandwidth Alliance launch-partner, which offers a competing storage service (dubbed B2) at a lower cost. Not only are Backblaze’s storage fees lower than AWS’s, but through the Bandwidth Alliance, Nodecraft is able to completely eliminate the egress fees it was paying — representing huge savings in the long run.

How does that work? Nodecraft stores its data on Backblaze’s B2 Storage and delivers that content to customers via Cloudflare’s network, which has over 200 points of presence around the world. Because Backblaze and Cloudflare are both members of the Bandwidth Alliance, there is no charge to transfer data between them. And those savings are passed on to Nodecraft.

Along with the benefits of the Bandwidth Alliance, Nodecraft is leveraging Cloudflare’s network in many other ways: Ross says that the company uses it “for pretty much everything”, from DDoS protection to the performance boosts of Argo Smart Routing.

To learn more about the Bandwidth Alliance and its partners — which include IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and DigitalOcean — don’t miss our overview here.

Nodecraft Switches Cloud Providers to Save Big with Bandwidth Alliance
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Nodecraft slashed its data transfer costs with the Bandwidth Alliance

We were looking at moving our data from one storage provider to another, and it was a total no-brainer to use a service that was part of the Bandwidth Alliance. It really makes sense for anyone looking at any cloud service, especially one that’s pushing a lot of traffic.

James Ross
Nodecraft Co-founder/CTO